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World's Most Expensive
Interview with Jamie Colby, Host of FOX Business Network's 'Strange Inheritance'
December 11, 2015
From multi-million dollar treasures, to truly bizarre collections and one-of-a- kind artifacts, this series tells the stories of how families decide what to do with their newly acquired possessions. Shocking secrets are discovered, gut-wrenching decisions are made about priceless heirlooms and fascinating histories are uncovered along the way.
Jamie Colby currently serves as the host of FOX Business Network's "Strange Inheritance". She joined Fox News Channel in 2003 and is based in the New York City bureau.
What has it been like traveling all over the country?
It's always exhilarating to travel, see new places and meet people living in different parts of the world. I did that for years as an attorney and news correspondent but as the host of a show about strange inheritances, my travel experiences have hit a whole new level!
What are some of the places you've traveled to for your show
Several of our Season 2 episodes came as a result of viewer submissions to
so I've visited kitchen tables, living rooms and attics of folks from Seattle to Sacramento, Abilene to Alabama and to a residential yacht in the U.K. To meet a family who inherited and then auctioned off Winston Churchill's dentures! Every day of the 200+ days on the road seeking treasure each season are an unpredictable adventure.
What are some of your favorite destinations?
I've really enjoyed the places I might not have visited had it not been for this show like the Willamette Valley region in Oregon where an 8-year-old inherited his father's winery. Seeing Mt. Hood peek through the clouds while sampling Brooks Winery's Pinot was memorable.
I was truly moved by the magnificent cloud formations of Montana. It certainly deserves to be called big sky country. I'm a huge fan of anything Texan and we visited an inherited, rebuilt frontier fort this season that was inhabited by General Robert E. Lee.
I'll also always remember my news travel too covering Papal conclaves in Rome and the devastation I've witnessed covering the Asaian Tsunami and Hurricane Katrina not obviously for the beauty of the locations in the aftermath but for the significant difference my Fox crew and I were able to make in people's lives.
How do you choose where you are going to film the episodes?
In order to qualify, the inheritance stories have to meet several criteria. We look at what was inherited and whether it is rare, odd (we had an insect collection features worth in the millions), historically significant (a bloody civil war uniform sleeve that turned out to be General Pickett's) or unexpectedly valuable (a"fake" Nickel that ended up being a 1913 Liberty Head worth more than $3 million). The heirs also have to be able to recount an interesting and often suspenseful story and we always try to cover their stories in real-time attending an auction to see the results if they decide to sell. Oftentimes we uncover facts they didn't know. We scour probate records (being an attorney knowing where to look has helped), newspaper clippings, invite viewer submissions and my Mom even found us an inherited toy soldier collection that is featured in Season 2!
What is your favorite hotel?
This season the Waldorf Astoria Key West was heavenly. Dinner on the beach with your toes in the sand is pretty tough to beat especially when you are on the reporting beat finding serenity anywhere you can. The two concierge's at the Mandarin Oriental in Washington, DC are the most seasoned I've seen. The Mizpah hotel (see Wikipedia) in Tonopah Nevada where an heir inherited a goldmine is rumored to be haunted but we had a great stay.
What are some of your must haves when traveling?
Phone apps like Travelocity, accuweather, dunkin donuts (coffee is essential), airline track baggage options and every shopping app imaginable for household goods so when I get home there are groceries and toilet paper!
What's the most spectacular thing you've seen when traveling?
I'm fortunate to travel with the most talented and artistic camera crew in TV so when my producer Stacey Young or director of photography Berat O. User are with me you can guarantee they will capture the most spectacular shots of waterfalls, sunsets and we had an episode this season among the giant redwood trees of Northern California. Don't miss seeing those!
You traveled over 250 days this year, what is that like?
Exhausting of course but I have an "attitude of gratitude" and feel blessed to see the places we visit and grow from the experiences with the interesting people I'm privileged to meet. I more often than not wake up not knowing where I am (not kidding!) which can be a bit concerning but I've become so close to my crew that it feels like I'm always with extended family. I still do check the t-shirts in airport shops to remind me where I am.
What's unique about your show
Everything! Because I'm a jack of all trades - art collector, attorney, accountant, mortgage and real estate broker - over and above a show host, I'm bound to find an angle on our stories another host might not be as intrigued by so our shows almost always take an unexpected twist. On our show you'll feel the suspense of an auction, get to answer some really cool quiz questions and take a journey with us to destinations around the world.
Tell us about Monday's episodes
There couldn't be a more important time to tell our Over the Moon episode. Viewers will meet a man who loved and hoped to preserve our legendary space program and in the midst of building a world renowned collection meets the love of his life on an on-line dating website. We learn along with her how truly extensive and valuable the collection is when she inherits it after he passes away prematurely. And the last item he bids on from his hospital bed arrives days after he dies. It's for her and it's perhaps the most tender on-screen moment this season.
If you've never seen the giant California Redwoods imagine no more! We are taking you there in our Redwood on Wheels episode. You'll meet an heir known as "the log lady" who inherits a centuries old redwood now on wheels that's hollowed out by her grandfather and converted into a magnificent home. It's all a reminder as she travels the country sharing her family tree tale of how magnificent these trees are and she drives miles and miles each year on donations alone. Can she continue or is she financially fried? See what a "single log" log cabin is worth!
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